According to HUD, “adults receiving HUD housing assistance are less well than other adults renters; 60 percent more suffer from depression, 18 percent more are smokers, 263 percent more have diabetes, 78 percent more have asthma attacks, and 94 percent more have weight problems that cause difficulty with activity.” CLPHA’s members believe that these outcomes are inexcusable. In addition, CLPHA’s members recognize that poor health can be an impediment to steady participation in the labor market and that helping households gain health insurance coverage can lead to economic self-sufficiency.

The Affordable Health Care Act (ACA)

Expanded access to health insurance coverage creates financial stability for the approximately 48 million Americans that do not have health insurance and thus are at risk of financial ruin from unexpected and uncontrollable medical bills. On July 24, Secretary Donovan released a video message that explained the importance of the ACA’s implementation for the households and communities that HUD programs serve.

HUD has committed to raising awareness of the new opportunities for healthcare access created by the ACA, and CLPHA plans to engage in the areas of the ACA where we believe that housing authorities can have influence in improving the health outcomes of residents.

While CLPHA will begin engaging with the ACA through the health insurance enrollment effort, CLPHA will also work with our partners to provide information on areas such as shaping hospital community benefits, addressing the health needs of the homeless, advocating for comprehensive coverage from managed care networks, and considering the effects of healthcare reform on housing authority employees.

Opportunities for Housing Providers Under the ACA

The ACA presents numerous opportunities to improve health service delivery and financing for low-income populations. Housing conditions are widely accepted as a social determinant of health. As housing instability and homelessness continue to impede the ability of health providers to improve care and reduce costs, housing entities such as housing authorities will increasingly be approached for assistance.

Housing authorities can also proactively craft connections to better serve their residents’ needs, especially given the flexibility and experimentation happening within the health system. There are many moving parts to health system reform, making it challenging for affordable housing providers to know where and whom to engage.

On January 23, 2014, CLPHA and CSH hosted a webinar and discussion for CLPHA members that explored opportunities for housing authorities under the ACA, as outlined in the joint paper from CLPHA and CSH, Opportunities for Health Partnerships through the Affordable Care Act. View the webinar presentations.

Information and Resources